Lifestyle, myopic parents, and school-related factors may be associated with myopia in high school students, according to research published in Clinical Optometry.
Researchers conducted a study of 349 students (mean age 16.90±1.32 years, 54.4% girls or women) from 21 high schools to determine the prevalence of myopia and identify associated risk factors. They performed eye exams and administered a structured questionnaire to obtain information on family history and work habits to all participants. The team defined myopia as a spherical equivalent refractive error of −0.50 D or worse in the more myopic eye and categorized myopia according to severity level: low severity (range, −0.50 to −3.00 D), moderate severity (range, −3.25 to −6.00 D), and high severity (range, ≥−6.00 D).
Among the cohort, 10.3% of students had low severity myopia, 2.9% had moderate severity myopia, and 2.6% had high severity myopia. In addition, 10.6% had an ocular abnormality.
Researchers determined that myopia was associated with a 33-60 cm working distance (AOR=15.45, 95% CI, 1.21-41.70, P <.05), performing close work for 9-11 hours per day (AOR=11.00, 95% CI, 3.06-39.36, P <.001), parental myopia (AOR=8.46, 95% CI, 7.11-12.08, P <.001), use of a visual display unit (AOR=8.36, 95% CI, 2.39-29.33, P <.001), not participating in outdoor sports activities (AOR=7.37, 95% CI, 2.71-20.02, P <.001), and beginning school at 3-6 years of age (AOR=3.14, 95% CI, 1.16-10.06, P <.05).
Researchers assert that “there should be strategies to prevent visual impairments secondary to myopia with affordable optical corrections and appropriate use of visual display units.”
This study may have been limited by overlooking individuals with mild myopia who had visual acuity of 6/9.
Gebru EA, Mekonnen KA. Prevalence and factors associated with myopia among high school students in Hawassa City, South Ethiopia, 2019. Clin Optom. 2022;14:35-43. doi:10.2147/OPTO.S308617